There are many questions in shipping industry which seem to be mysteries of the ancient shipping times with as many theories floating. And one of these question is “Why Captain’s cabin is always on Starboard side?” Here is what I have gathered during my sea career.
Captain’s cabin on the starboard side is a tradition that has been since many years but there has been some exceptions to it where captain’s cabin is on port side. Leaving aside the exceptions, in old days, the starboard side was considered superior to port side in every sense, be it flag etiquettes or two watch system in old days where more experienced staff used to keep watch on starboard side, the starboard side was considered superior to port side. Captain being overall incharge of the ship was considered superior to all the crew onboard and was given superior side of the ship.
In modern days however it is not superiority that is considered for captain cabin to starboard side. Starboard side is give way side in ROR (Rule of the road) and captain is expected to see the traffic on starboard side of his ship just to be aware of the traffic situation where it is his ship’s duty to take action. He can then also monitor if the officer on watch has taken the required action to avoid close quarter situation.
Do you have any other theory or do you agree with this explanation ? Do you have any other such question ? Leave a comment.
Meanwhile wishing you all fair winds and following seas.
About Capt Rajeev Jassal
Capt. Rajeev Jassal has sailed for over 24 years mainly on crude oil, product and chemical tankers. He holds MBA in shipping & Logistics degree from London. He has done extensive research on quantitatively measuring Safety culture onboard and safety climate ashore which he believes is the most important element for safer shipping.
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